It’s Chibi Wednesday on a Tuesday! How can this come to be? Why it must be the Monkey King, trickster god that he is! Oh, that wacky Monkey King… I grew up with the television series Monkey! in my feckless youth (I was completely lacking in feck). The final episode aired in 1980… and now I feel really old. Regardless, I learned much from the televised tale of the Monkey King. I learned that in the worlds before Monkey, primal chaos reigned. Heaven sought order, but the Phoenix can fly only when its feathers are grown. The four worlds formed again, and yet again, as endless eons wheeled and passed. Time, and the pure essences of Heaven, the moisture of the Earth, the powers of the Sun and the Moon all worked upon a certain rock, old as creation, and it became magically fertile. That first egg was named “Thought”. Here, see for yourself.
Long story short, it makes total sense that the second named chunin for Ninja All Stars’ Yamazaru clan is Son Goku, their homage to the Monkey King himself.
When we’re talking about the Yamazaru, start with remembering that it’s a slow clan. In fact, the slowest. The Yamazaru chunin is the slowest in the game, with 4 movement. The Yamazaru are the children of the mountain, and move about as swiftly. Now, look at Son Goku, with his 7 movement.
Look at you chunin. Now at Son Goku. Back to your chunin. Now, back to S… dammit, where’d he go? The only models in the clans that can outrun Son Goku are the Tanchyo’s Kunuichi and their character chunin Kakuro. That alone should get your attention.
He’s not as immediately tough or resilient as the regular chunin – 3 Attack and 3 Defense – but he’s actually cheaper, at 19 koban to add to your team rather than the chunin’s 20, and be brings some tricks to the table beside his ridiculous (for a Yamazaru) speed.
- Earth Mastery means he gets to reroll any dice that don’t come up with the Earth result once per round, greatly increasing your chances of stunning defenders in melee, and reducing the chance of being stuck with an attacker-injured result.
- Leap helps him take further advantage of that high movement, letting him scale to elevated terrain for the cost of a single movement point, rather than the usual two
- Resilient – heh – If Son Goku get injured or stunned, roll a die. If you roll Earth – and remember, you get to reroll dice that don’t result in Earth once per round thanks to Earth Mastery – then injuries are downgraded to stuns, and stuns are downgraded to nothing more than an insignificant scratch.
- As character hero, Son Goku also gains his own ability – Lucky – which grants him a Luck token at the beginning of each of his activations. Each luck token is a reroll, and I’ll note that there’s no limit on how many he can tote around. Don’t need them for a turn or two? Just keep stockpiling until you do!
Son Goku may not have the Defense 4 that Mizaru and the chunin have, but with Resilient and a steady supply of rerolls he’s going to be tougher to take down than he first appears. He may not hit as hard as the chunin, but with the capacity to move at almost twice the speed and completely unhindered by pesky stuff like walls, Son Goku could add a new element to your Yamazaru game as he flies across the board with your kunoichi in tow, while your kaiken and the others struggle to keep up. Son Goku comes with the Yamazaru clan box, so if you’ve picked up the monkeys you’re ready to roll.
The sad part for me is that, as happy as I am with the paintjob on this little fellow, I don’t get to keep him. He’s being shoved in an envelope and being mailed off as part of the latest Chibi Paint Swap. I guess this just means I’ll have to order another Yamazaru clan box to replace him 😉